Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report
Produced by Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash
A Building Bridges Special Report
On Hurricane Victims in NYC's Coney Island:
After The Storm: Coney Islandâs Beleaguered Residents Remind Us
That The Real Devastation Is Continuously Drowning In Poverty
Coney Islandâs residents wander about amidst the mounds and mounds
of sand, pushed blocks back into their streets and homes by Sandy in
this oceanfront community. And thereâs the historic Nathans eatery, its
boarded up plywood sheets have been partially pried loose by wind and
rushing tides that threatens to ripe dangerously down the streets. Every-
where is a landscape of small stores with their fronts blown out, ominous
high water marks ringing whatâs left of their exteriors and their inners just
dangling wires wiping about furiously from the frigid, ocean wind blasts.
Everywhere are the cherished furnishings and belongings of the areas
residents, now all jumbled together and tossed on the streets looking like
the carelessly left playthings from a childâs dollhouse.
Disabled, elderly residents are still trapped on the uppermost floors of their
public housing developments, without heat and light, without water, amidst
the power outage. Other tenants and low-income home owners in the area
have lost all their lifeâs possessions. And there are so many without food,
and who face the prospect of prolonged homelessness. Coney Islandâs
residents were drowned out by a hurricane, but before Sandy they were as
well drowning in poverty, and now it seems theyâve been hung out to dry, by
a plutocracy who could very well provide storehouses of food immediately
and build âwe the peopleâ veritable Taj Mahalâs in which to live our lives.
Government has virtually ignored the residents of Coney Island and mass
media has covered them almost exclusively to sensationally and raise the
fraudulent specter of looting. But, thereâs another reality as well, there
amongst the devastation are brigades of youth tirelessly shoveling the sand
back, bringing the scarce resources, bottled water an other necessities they
can find to their neighborhoods. Again and again theyâve climbed the stairs
to assist and offer their concerns, refusing to leave or ignore their sisters and brothers âthe power of the people's collective will and energies provides
fortitude and hope for one of our communities, fighting to rise above the tides.
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